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About St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Broadstairs
St Joseph's is a welcoming and friendly school where everyone cares about each other. The school's values of 'belonging, caring, enjoyment, respect and teamwork' are notably put into practice by all members of the school community.
Pupils typically behave very well around the school and in classrooms. They are unfailingly polite. Playtimes are happy and friendly occasions.
Bullying is rare. Pupils know that adults will help them if there is any unkindness or if they are worried about anything. There are high levels of trust between staff and pupils.
Consequently, pupils feel safe.
Pupils get lots of opportunities to experience and learn about the wor...ld in which they live. For instance, pupils take part in sporting competitions, raise money for charities or visit vulnerable people within the local community.
Pupils are given positions of responsibility, such as being a member of the proactive school council or the 'mini vinnies' where they discuss themes from the bible and lead prayers at assemblies.
Pupils work hard and want to do their best. They enjoy learning, especially in English, mathematics and physical education.
However, despite some recent improvements, the curriculum that pupils learn is not always well organised or challenging enough.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?
To a certain extent, the challenges faced due to the pandemic, staff absence and personnel changes have not helped trust leaders maintain the quality of education at the school.
New leadership of the school has brought about much needed clarity.
School and trust leaders are working together and starting to bring about necessary recovery. However, leadership and staffing need to stabilise so that effective improvements can be implemented.
Leaders make sure that pupils learn to read as soon as they join Reception class.
At the start of this academic year, leaders rightly introduced a systematic approach to the teaching of phonics. Staff have been trained so that they can more effectively support pupils get off to the best possible start in their reading. Staff check and put appropriate support in place for those who need to catch up.
Leaders have carefully considered the books that pupils read and how pupils' reading skills can be developed as they move up the school. In mathematics too, leaders have ensured there is a consistent approach to how this is taught across the school. As a result, pupils learn and achieve well in these subjects.
Leaders have made some important changes to the curriculum. Nevertheless, in subjects such as history, geography and art, there remains more work to do to ensure that the knowledge and skills that leaders want pupils to learn are identified precisely throughout the whole school. The end points that leaders want pupils to achieve are not clearly identified in some subjects.
Teaching in these subjects is not sequenced well. Therefore, pupils do not always learn about things in the right order or acquire the knowledge and skills they need.
Leaders have not considered how the curriculum can be adapted for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND).
Teachers do not always identify and provide these pupils with the help and resources they need to enable them to learn well.
Some subject leaders are not clear about how to design a curriculum. Others are inexperienced in their roles.
Consequently, these leaders do not have a precise enough oversight of what pupils are learning. Leaders accept that some subject leaders need further training to enable them to be more effective in their areas of responsibility.
The school is a calm place.
Pupils listen attentively to their teachers in lessons. Children are safe and happy in the early years. Adults develop strong relationships with the children and care for them well.
However, leaders have not ensured that teachers build on what children already know and can do. Although improvements have been made to the environment, adults do not always consider how activities help develop children's curiosity and enhance their learning of the world around them.
Leaders provide pupils with opportunities to develop as respectful and well-rounded individuals.
Pupils understand and celebrate each other's differences. They know they are 'unique in God's eyes'. Pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.
Staff and governors welcome the recent changes to leadership. Staff feel well supported and there is a strong sense of camaraderie. They appreciate leaders' attention to their workload.
Trust leaders are aware of the improvements required. They now need to ensure that targeted support and training, alongside robust monitoring of the school, are put in place without delay.
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
There is a culture of care and vigilance in the school. Pupils feel safe and know that there is always an adult who can support them. All staff and most parents feel that pupils are kept safe.
Leaders are alert and responsive to local external safeguarding issues and have ensured that staff are trained accordingly. Staff understand their safeguarding responsibilities and know how to report any concerns they may have. Leaders work closely with external agencies to access support for pupils and their families where necessary.
Recruitment checks on adults who work at the school are robust and records are meticulously maintained.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
• The curriculum across the school is not fully developed. Work has started on this.
However, current planning does not provide enough detail or sufficient guidance for teachers to coherently sequence learning. Pupils do not learn and achieve as well as they should in subjects other than English and mathematics. Trust and senior leaders should make sure that subject leaders are well trained.
They should also make sure that the curriculum in all subjects identifies clearly what pupils need to learn and remember well, including from early years. ? Leaders have not considered how the curriculum may need to be adapted for pupils with SEND. These pupils do not achieve as well as they should.
Leaders need to ensure that precise and effective support is planned to enable pupils with SEND to make the best possible progress from their starting points. ? Leaders at all levels have not checked carefully enough that their vision for the curriculum is realised. Expectations of what pupils should know, understand and be able to do are not consistently challenging enough.
Leaders need to review their monitoring of the curriculum so that they are assured that the full curriculum is being delivered as they intend and that appropriate adaptations are being made for pupils with SEND. ? The quality of early years provision is variable. Although there have been improvements to the environment, leaders have not adequately considered how the school's curriculum starts in early years.
Leaders should ensure that planned activities develop children's curiosity and interests. Adults need further support to develop and extend children's learning effectively. This will enable children to get off to the best possible start.
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